"Hardly" versus "hardly ever"

HarryC1Kwiziq community member

"Hardly" versus "hardly ever"

The given translation of « Mes sœurs ne font guère les magasins » is "My sisters hardly go shopping". This is not idiomatic in English; you would say "My sisters hardly ever go shopping". In English, we would use "hardly" on its own to imply some limitation in the action; for example, "He can hardly write (because he is only 4 years old)". But if the limitation is to do with time, then the correct expression is "hardly ever"; for example, "He hardly ever writes (because he's busy doing other things)".

I think in the article on ne ... guère, this distinction should be made. As it stands, "hardly ever" isn't mentioned at all.

How would this distinction be made in French?

Asked 1 month ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Harry,

Thank you for your great feedback! The questions from the kwiz have now been updated so as to clarify any ambiguity with the use of 'ne...guère' (= 'hardly ever' (frequency) or 'hardly' (quantity)).

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée ! 

JimC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

Hi Harry,

How about    "Mes sœurs ne vont presque jamais faire du shopping" ?

But I admit that this construction doesn't test "ne guère" which may be what is required.

Hope it helps.

Jim

"Hardly" versus "hardly ever"

The given translation of « Mes sœurs ne font guère les magasins » is "My sisters hardly go shopping". This is not idiomatic in English; you would say "My sisters hardly ever go shopping". In English, we would use "hardly" on its own to imply some limitation in the action; for example, "He can hardly write (because he is only 4 years old)". But if the limitation is to do with time, then the correct expression is "hardly ever"; for example, "He hardly ever writes (because he's busy doing other things)".

I think in the article on ne ... guère, this distinction should be made. As it stands, "hardly ever" isn't mentioned at all.

How would this distinction be made in French?

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